rag boooooooone!

a cry heard in the neighborhood

about once a month from

the old man on his horse drawn cart

& we kids would panic every time

searching for tin cans old metal old clothes

while our mothers would just scream no!

as we’d drag out old saucepans clothes

empty cupboards cobwebbed drawers

the rag bone was a scary fella to us

holding riches if approached right

an old iron bedstead

would get a bow & an arrow

stolen bag of clothes

a red or yellow goldfish in a plastic bag

while we’d watch in awe

these transactions taking place over our heads

watching wary the horse feared to bit

the whip there by the old mans boot

& he’d be gone with his bits & pieces

on the wooden flat bed of his clanking cart

as we stood admiring in envy the arrow bow

the goldfish leaking into the street

I followed him once from a distance

to a wooden garage lock up

peeking through the gap between the doors

wanting piles of bows arrows goldfish in tanks

but saw only rags piling up lost riches sad forlorn

& then he never came back again rag boooone!

such anachronisms defeated by modernity

to return no more

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